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UPDATE: Liberals table big spending budget

With 3 billion dollars in new spending, see how your tax dollars are being spent....

The NDP has chosen to wait to respond to the budget, as the Liberals underline priorities of transit expansion, an Ontario pension plan and big spending.

And remember to hold on tight to your wallet – there’s an extra $3.4 billion in spending this year and you’re paying for it.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa has tabled Ontario’s largest budget ever, a 368-page document with a $11.3 billion deficit for this past fiscal this year.  Sousa claims they are still on track to balance the books by 2017-18 but the deficit will be going up to $12.5 billion by the end of this fiscal year. That’s because of a hole left in general revenues after bringing in more cash through new taxes and paying for transit and infrastructure expansion.

Here’s a breakdown

How it hits your pocketbook:

-The budget outlines transit funding tools, with plans to raise $29 billion in the province over 10 years ($15 billion for GTHA projects). The one that will hit you most is a phased in tax on aviation fuel of four cents a litre over four years – which might affect the price of plane tickets. (More details on transit funding tools below)

-Aside from transit funding, there’s a tax increase of 1.6 cents per cigarette – which changes the price of an average carton from $24.70 to $27.95.

-Tax brackets have shifted from four to three. Personal income taxes will go up for those making $150,000 a year – which will affect 2 per cent of all those who file taxes.  Of the 115,000 people making up to $220,000 would pay $425 more a year. Of the 105,000 people making over $220,000, they will pay $5,500 more.

Highways:

-Expanding on plans from last year, the province is pushing forward in 2014 with HOV lanes on the 410 through Mississauga and Brampton and on Highway 427, all the way up to Vaughan.

- The budget says province will start widening the 401 near Cobourg by the end of the year as well.

- Even though the Finance Minister has said her wanted to put HOV lanes on the 401 “as soon as possible,” the budget says they will be added in Halton and Peel regions starting in 2019-20.

- The 407 “Phase 2” from Harmony Road in Oshawa to Highway 35/115 in Clarington will start construction this year.

Transit:

-Funding tools include: the aviation fuel tax, restricting large corporations from claiming the small business deduction and restricting the fuel-tax exemption for road-building machines. This is on top of previously announced initiatives like: future High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane revenue, green bonds, the trillium infrastructure fund, 7.5 cents of the existing gas tax and using the HST made on gas and diesel fuel. 

-The province wants to work with the federal government to get funding for transit expansion.

-Ontario says it will borrow money if it needs to.

-The budget lists already-introduce transit projects such as: new Toronto streetcars, Union station expansion, the Pearson-Union Express, the Eglinton Crosstown, the new Toronto streetcars, the Scarborough subway extension, and the subway extension to Vaughan.

Pension:

-The budget introduces the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, which will be mandatory for everyone without a workplace pension plan. It would require equal contributions of both employees and employers of 1.9 per cent each (3.8 per cent combined) up to a maximum annual earnings of $90,000.

-Someone making $45,000 a year would be contributing $788 a year. If you make $70,000, you’ll contribute $1,263 annually. Those who bring in $90,000 a year will contribute $1,642.

-Legislation will be presented in the fall outlining timelines and administrative costs.

Education:

-As Newstalk 1010 told you first, there’s an extra $11 billion in spending for capital grants over 10 years – money used by school boards to build new schools and renovate existing ones. This includes a four-year, $750 million plan to deal with capacity issues.

Healthcare:

-$11.4 billion in healthcare funding for capital projects over the next 10 years, including the MacKenzie Vaughan Hospital and Toronto’s Mount Sinai’s Women’s and Infants’ Project.

Other:

- An increase to $11/hr minimum wage.

-Plans to build an integrated Toronto Courthouse, with little details.

-$2.5 billion for corporate grants.

-$50 million for in-vitro fertilization treatments.

-$1 million more devoted to seniors to keep them in their homes longer.

-Three year, $269 million for increased wages for childcare workers.

-Three year, $280 million for increased wages for personal support workers.

- The budget does not put in place a public sector wage freeze, noting any wage increases negotiated by unions would be absorbed by employers. 

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  • 37
  1. Jack posted on 05/01/2014 04:54 PM
    The Liberal government, already responsible for billions in wasted taxpayer dollars, announce that they plan to waste billions more and nobody says a word.

    But another article about Rob Ford? 132 comments, no problem.

    I need to move to a different province.
    1. Sonny posted on 05/01/2014 05:10 PM
      @Jack The Liberals with possibly ND support would tax the richest 2% to help the poor and seniors who have not saved for retirement.

      I hoped that the video with Ford and his pipe would emerge.
      I liked how Chow called him sick man
      See ya!
    2. David posted on 05/01/2014 05:37 PM
      @Jack Well said Jack, well said. You have the mayor battling addiction and the public is obsessed with every gory detail. The liberals waste billions and billions of dollars and you get a shrug of the shoulders. I believe part of the problem is the average voter isn't smart enough to understand the damgae that will occur because of the Wynne governments decisions. The voters can't seem to understand that wasted money is money that can't be spent on healthcare etc. Of course, the other issue is that so many people are on the government payroll. Why would they bite the hand that feeds them. Tough to be encouraged about the future in this province.
  2. Mark posted on 05/01/2014 05:15 PM
    The liberals, teachers, and the teachers and public sector union hogs in this province are our enemies. I understand why the piggy unions and selfish pig teachers would vote for the corrupt liberals but anyone else who does is a first class idiot who belongs locked up in a mental hospital in a third world country.
  3. Teacher posted on 05/01/2014 05:31 PM
    ^^^ Mark, I will be glad to help my political friends get re-elected and why not. They have rewarded me very well thank you, and we teachers will keep the liberals in power. They intend to give us more money and benefits for our support so why not help.

    Face it Ontario. WE teachers control the purse stings in this province so just suck it up, move on, and get back to work so your tax dollars can pay me.

    You ordinary people have no chance against us. Good luck Mark, but, forget about your dreams, mine are more important because I am more important.
    1. No More Unions posted on 05/01/2014 05:51 PM
      @Teacher And with that excellent glimpse into the mindset of unionized teachers, I'd like to remind everyone to stand up for their own rights and support Working Canadians.

      Working Canadians is a volunteer organization devoted to raising awareness about just how much abuse we taxpayers take at the hands of unionized goons like our friend here. Find them on Facebook and Twitter!
    2. Jack posted on 05/01/2014 05:53 PM
      @Teacher I'm curious, Teacher. What exactly is your union's plan for the future?

      When the Liberals make it unprofitable for my employer to continue doing business here, my employer will leave; how do you plan to steal my money when I have no money to steal?
  4. guy_smiley posted on 05/02/2014 06:35 AM
    I'm a small business owner. We have no company wide pension plan because we simply can't afford it. If this goes through it looks like my employees are all going to get a 1.9% raise, too bad they will be taking less home at the end of the week. Sounds like a good idea to me.
    1. Mark posted on 05/02/2014 07:03 AM
      @guy_smiley The idea may or may not have merit. But we can not trust the most incompetent, corrupt, and wasteful political party in the history of our province. All programs cost money to implement and these idiot liberals have no hope in hell of implementing this without wasting millions.

      Face it, we can not afford the current public sector union pensions so adding public money to the fire will only make it burn faster.

      Liberals need to be crushed, ground to dust, and burned at the next election. Shame though that this will not happen because the libs and their piggy public sector hogs have almost proliferated beyond control.
  5. Frankie posted on 05/02/2014 08:35 AM
    Message to all Liberal voters. Money doesn't grow on trees and budgets don't miraculously balance themselves.

    By making businesses less competitive they drive some away. No business, no employees, no taxes! It's a very basic principle.

    The Liberals lie, complaining the CPP doesn't address the needs of Ontarians. There is a very small percentage of people affected by this, yet the Liberals insist on using a sledgehammer to kill a flea. What a waste of hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

    Describing the Bob Rae NDP budget as fiscally conservative compared to this Liberal budget should send shivers down everyone's spine, and will certainly be cause for further downgrading of Ontario's rating and the resulting increase in interest costs.

    BEFORE the budget Ontario's debt was 5 X (per capita) that of California.

    It's yet another sad day for Ontario
    1. jason posted on 05/02/2014 10:39 AM
      @Frankie boo hoo. The sky is falling. boo hoo.
    2. Karl Burgin posted on 05/02/2014 10:56 AM
      @Frankie Well, FRANKIE...if I were playing a liberal devil's advocate...

      1.> Money do grow on trees. We use the bark from the wood to make the paper the money is printed on. Now if you had said "inflation doesn't grow on trees, then you'd make a better argument..."

      2.> Why we do make business competitive. We make them compete for the money and incentives we're throwing at them to bring them into Toronto

      3.> We don't lie. We just offer a different version of the truth- or bend it when necessary. Truth IS relative after all

      4.> Ontarians need an alternative retirement program, which is why we are providing it. How else are they going to help pay our...er I mean their contribution to restructuring Ontario for a better future. There's rising gas prices, food prices, energy bills, taxes, power plants. You can't pay for those on CPP alone you know.

      5.> We are the most fiscally conservative government ever. How else do you think we're able to give so much money away.

      6.> Ontario's budget is 5 times that of California you say? That is a lie. Its probably at 8 times that of California after this budget goes through. But we don't need to spread that sort news around. People would think us irresponsible.

      7.> Another sad day in Ontario? No it won't. We're planning on bring World Pride day here and the Pan AM Games to Toronto. It will be happy time for everyone.

      8.> Please disregard 'power plants' from point # 4

      --------------------------------------------------------------------

      I am sometimes amused and afraid of the extreme cynicism I've come to embrace. Thank you Ontario Liberals.
  6. Contemplate Thius posted on 05/02/2014 09:49 AM
    Brilliant Gamble:
    1. Leaves the NDP painted into a corner with nowhere to turn.
    2. Leaves the Tea Party Cons where they belong - slash and burn as their plan

    Wynne would make a great poker player.
    1. Contemplate This posted on 05/02/2014 11:21 AM
      @Contemplate Thius Well, well, well ... Andrea bit down hard, (not a good poker player), which means that the NDP is about to be decimated by this clever budget.

      The Tea Party Cons with their very weak leader can do no better than a minority government that would fail and fall in about 6 months.

      The choice has been clarified.
      The likelihood is that Wynne will win (probably another minority).
  7. john posted on 05/02/2014 10:39 AM
    no dice bitch time for a election .
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